Prosecutor drops charges against Piťovci Gang

Some have already been sentenced for the same crimes, some accusations concerned time-barred crimes.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: Sme)

General Prosecutor Jaromír Čižnár has dropped the charges against six members of the so-called Piťovci gang who were detained during the Gondola operation in June 2016.

The reason given concerned violations of the law by an investigator of the National Criminal Agency (NAKA) and the Special Prosecutor’s Office which turned down the complaints of the accused, the TASR newswire reported.

The decision was released on December 5, 2016 and concerns Juraj O., Matej Š., Martin P., Andrej O., Peter H. and Martin R., said Jana Tökölyová, spokesperson for the General Prosecutor’s Office.

The men were detained during the police operation entitled Gondola, during which they carried out 20 house searches and 17 searches of non-residential premises. They detained 23 people, of whom 22 were identified as members of an organised crime group. One member of the group was at large, while four were in prison, as reported by TASR.

Čižnár explained that Juraj O., Matej Š., Martin P. and Andrej O. were accused of crimes for which they had already been found guilty. Slovak law does not allow prosecution for the same crime twice. This decision also pertains to Peter H. who has already been released, TASR wrote.

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If the authorities find out after the valid decision, that the people were committing crimes to a wider extent and for a longer time than the one for which they had already been sentenced, it may mean there is a new reason for restoring the court proceeding to the detriment of the accused, Čižnár said. He therefore returned the case to the Special Prosecutor’s Office which should secure the next steps, TASR reported.

Among the six men acquitted of charges was the son of a well-known businessman and lawyer, identified as Martin R., who was accused of incitement to perjury and perjury. The evidence collected by the investigators however does not prove this accusation and the charges were premature, Čižnár claimed.

He also explained that only a witness may be charged with these accusations, but not a person who is among the accused, as reported by TASR.

The general prosecutor also pointed to the fact that the deeds credited to head of the gang, Juraj O. aka Piťo, and also Matej Š. are already time-barred. This concerns the crime of unauthorised arms supply and in the case of Juraj O perjury and untrue expert opinion as well.

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